Women who have depression consistently report that they feel older than their age.
Researchers have wondered if depression does cause the skin to look older, as it has been known to worsen other chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
In a 2014 study from the University of Tokyo, researchers found depression causes changes in facial appearance over time.
The study analyzed the faces of individuals with depression before and after treatment for depression, as well as the facial features of healthy control participants without depression over three years.
The results showed that even short-term depression could set into motion irreversible changes leading to the appearance of aging related to facial fat loss and volume decrease around the eyes and lips.
The women reported feeling stressed, tired, and lacking energy or enthusiasm.
Researchers also found depression is associated with changes in the appearance of the lower face (lips and jowls) over time which could make a person look older.
In the study, photos were taken of participants at three points in time: when depression was mild or moderate after the depression had been treated and during a period of depression.
Researchers found women with depression lose facial fat over time while those without developed more volume around their eyes and lips.
Women who have depression report they feel older than their age.
Can depression change your appearance?
Depression is a form of mental illness that affects millions of people all over the world. While depression can manifest itself in many different ways, it can also change how you look.
The most striking effect depression has on the face is the fact that depression sufferers tend to lose weight and lack an interest in physical activity or personal hygiene.
Sometimes depression will show itself in the form of bags under one’s eyes, sleeplessness, and dark circles around both eyes.
Depression will not only alter one’s facial features but their posture as well.
A depressed person tends to make themselves smaller by hunched shoulders while walking with a slouching gait. So why does depression have such a strong effect on one’s face?
According to depression researcher, Dr. David Borenstein, depression alters how a person’s brain allocates resources. Depression causes less attention to be given to facial features and more attention is given to pain.
The lack of interest in looking presentable can go so far as depression altering one’s appearance by wearing the same clothes every day or not showering for days at a time.
People suffering from depression will sometimes wear clothing that is not age-appropriate or either too big or too small for them causing others to be confused about what they are feeling inside.
A recent television show on this topic showed how depression altered the appearance of young women, some just entering their teenage years, who were depressed due to bullying at school.
Bullying at such a young age showed depression could begin at any age and depression can certainly change one’s appearance.
Another way depression alters one’s appearance is by causing people to not want to go out in public leaving them socially isolated and lonely.
According to depression researcher Dr. Simon Gilbody, depression will make a person look down upon themselves and their abilities; this will cause people with depression to become less social and avoid going out of the house due to depression symptoms like fatigue, lack of interest in physical activity, and lack of interest in spending time with friends.
While depression brings about many symptoms such as weight gain or loss, different sleeping patterns that include insomnia or oversleeping, low energy or fatigue, loss of appetite that results in weight loss, depression can also alter one’s appearance by causing them to ignore personal hygiene, look disheveled or dress inappropriately for the weather.
Depression can certainly cause changes in one’s mood and behavior but depression symptoms will also alter their physical appearance as well.
Does sadness make you age faster?
A group of British researchers is questioning the widely held belief that sadness can make you grow old faster, according to an article published in British Medical Journal.
The team from University College London studied over 9,000 civil servants between 35 and 55 years old for their research.
The study included questions asking participants about their levels of happiness and whether they often felt nervous, hopeless, or low. Participants were then monitored until 2009 to see how many died or developed heart disease.
They found that people who reported more depressive symptoms lived longer than those who were always happy.
The scientists concluded, “Associations between happiness and mortality may be confounded by cognitive impairment.”
According to Professor Andrew Steptoe, lead researcher at UCL, “This is not to say that happiness has no health consequences, but the effects are probably smaller than many people expect.”
Professor Steptoe concludes that “If you’re happy, it helps”, but he warns that too much happiness could lead to over-confidence about health.
Which age group has the highest rate of depression?
Many people believe that teens and college students are at the highest risk for depression, but a new study says adults aged 50 to 69 years old should be just as concerned.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and funded by Janssen Research and Development (part of Johnson & Johnson), looked at 1,829 Dutch individuals who had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 223 unaffected siblings or controls.
Each person was surveyed about their symptoms and whether they had experienced an antidepressant-free remission — meaning their symptoms were gone for over two months without using medication.
Researchers then separated the participants into three groups: those aged 18 39; those aged 40 to 54; and those aged 55 to 69.
They found that over four years of follow-up, older patients were more likely to have an antidepressant-free remission than younger individuals.
Patients who were 40 to 54 at the beginning of the study had the highest rate of remissions (30%), followed by those who were 18 to 39 (28%) and 55 to 69 (27%).
Remission rates for all three groups increased during the first six months, but they plateaued after that.
“Our findings suggest that clinicians assessing major depressive disorder in primary care or other outpatient settings should consider depression as a possible diagnosis not only in younger adults but also in midlife individuals,” Dr. Eric Lenze, professor of clinical psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine and the study’s corresponding author, told Healthline.
Lenze explained that these findings tell us we need to better understand why the risk of depression increases in midlife and what can be done to protect people from developing it.
What is the number one cause of depression?
There is no doubt that various factors may play a crucial role in the origin of depression such as chemical, environmental or genetic aberrations, etc.
However, there is only one main factor which is the cause of all other factors, and this fact you probably haven’t figured out up to now.
This single fact can be easily found at the top of any list that has been made regarding depression.
If you haven’t figured it out yet then let us enlighten you. The number one cause of depression is stress.
Stress can make you feel depressed; it can also make your depression last longer.
On the other hand, if we manage stress well and don’t let it pile up, we can prevent or minimize depression and its negative effects.
You should know that the brain and body work together and influence each other to cause mental health problems such as depression or anxiety disorder.